MSSQL 2017 Installer Fails: VS Shell installation has failed with exit code 1638

Installing MSSQL 2017 Developer Edition on my relatively clean development VM today I was getting an error part way through the installation:

Error installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable
VS Shell installation has failed with exit code 1638.

The installer then continued, but at the end I was told that the Database Engine and a couple of other components were not installed correctly.

I tried downloading a newer MSSQL installer, but that still didn’t work.

I tried installing the Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable (per several suggestions from others).  That made no difference.

In the end it boiled down to the fact that I already had Visual Studio 2017 installed and that had installed the Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable.  I ended up having to remove the Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable component using Windows Add/Remove Programs (being sure to uninstall both the x86 and x64 versions).

After a reboot for good measure, the MSSQL 2017 installer ran fine.

I then went back and re-installed the Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable x86 and x64 components using the following links:


And fired up Visual Studio 2017.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.